Close to Nowhere
NASA says the last solar eclipse here was Feb. 26, 1979. I would have sworn there had been one since we moved here, but I’m pretty sure NASA’s records are better than my memory.
I do remember standing in the street looking through the glass of one of Pop’s welding helmets. I also remember worrying a good bit about burning my retinas.
I’ve always been a “space groupie,” so I’m really excited about the upcoming eclipse. I had thought about driving up to Kentucky to see the complete eclipse, but it’s on a Monday, so I’ll be here at work, sneaking out to peek.
I read an interesting bit about changes that occur during eclipses, more so in the areas that will have the total eclipse, but noticable here.
During the dark part of the day, the planets and stars will be visible. You can see most of these at night, but during the eclipse it will be easier to spot Mercury, which is usually harder to see because it’s so close to the sun.
If you’re watching from a city, the automatic streetlights will probably come on when it gets dark outside. It’ll be harder to see planets and stars, but viewing the eclipse should still be OK.
One of the things that fascinates me is how not only will our environment look different, it should feel different.
“When sunlight fades at twilight, we always notice how things start to cool down. The same is true for the temporary dimming during a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.
“Depending on factors such as the time of year, cloud cover and the length of totality, the air temperature can drop more than 20 degrees F.
“During a solar eclipse in 1834, the air temperature in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, reportedly dropped by 28 degrees F.”
They really don’t expect temps to drop that much, but it still may cool off by as much as 10 degrees F.
During this eclipse the moon is going to pass directly in front of the sun, blocking sunlight from certain areas of the planet. This is the first solar eclipse visible in the continental United States in 38 years.
Google has many sites on the best places to see the eclipse and other information.
One of the most important facts is to NOT look directly at it or you’ll burn your retinas and go blind. Even just a few seconds can burn your eyes.
See local optometrist Dr. Eric Randle’s article on eye safety on Page 12.